I said that I'd celebrate Developmental Disabilities Month by celebrating the achievements of people with developmental disabilities. Well, I'd say that Jan Brunstrom certainly has achieved many things worth celebrating!
Jan Brunstrom is a doctor at St. Louis Children's Hospital, in the Pediatric Neurology Cerebral Palsy Center that she started in 1998. The twist? She has cerebral palsy herself.
The thing that I really liked about hearing about Jan Brunstrom is that she's ability-focused. In a world where supports are so deficit-focused (interested in hearing what the person can't do, rather than what he or she can do, to determine eligibility for supports), that's such a breath of fresh air.
And any program that encourages people not to use the word "can't" is fine by me!
Jan Brunstrom's program is very high regarded and sees over 2000 patients a year. She's an amazing example of someone a developmental disability making an excellent contribution to society.
Web Accessibility Note
For those interested in making websites more accessible for people with disabilities, be sure to check out the above link to see a current best practice.
It's very simple. The video is there for people that enjoy watching videos - but for people who have hearing impairments, the exact transcript of the video is directly below. You'd think that more websites would make use of this, but not many do, as it's time-consuming to produce transcripts.
However, consistent with anything produced with universal design in mind, having a transcript makes the content accessible for more people than just those with hearing impairments. People with slow connections, the wrong plug-ins, and server problems where the video isn't showing up can still access the content when there's a transcript for a video.
Just sayin'. :)